Tag Archives: accountable

The Ground Beneath My Feet

You know I’d forgotten how good it feels to have solid ground beneath my feet. I walked into the bathroom yesterday morning ready to face the Shitbird Scale and I was bordering on excited to see the number…it reminded me of being in school and walking into the classroom to take a test that I’d studied for, as opposed to my usual adolescent approach of winging it and hoping for the best.

As a child, I was naturally bright which is a double-edged sword in a lot of respects. Deploying half an ear in the classroom whilst daydreaming about Duran Duran, and a cursory flick through my exercise books the night before an exam usually saw me scrape through with middle-of-the-road marks and a could do better on my school reports but hey, a pass is a pass, right? I didn’t learn to apply myself until much later in life but I have to admit, much of the last year has been about winging it…the last 3 months in particular.

Last week – with the exception of Sunday’s false start – saw me really colouring inside the lines. I pointed everything, wrote it down and added it up. I didn’t buy any naughties when I did the food shop so there’s been nothing in the cupboards to tempt me. I ate clean – well, with the exception of one Chinese takeaway which I chose carefully so I could stay within points – and I planned well. Shitbird Scale handed me a 2.5lbs loss, which when you consider that I had to write last Sunday off as a disaster and had only 6 days to shine wasn’t half bad. Worth an A on the old report card for sure.

The process of photographing the number on the scale as I stand on it then posting it on here is working beautifully, because there’s nowhere to hide. It’s about as accountable as you can get, right? Honestly, I hate that it’s out there, I mean even skinny string beans mostly like to keep the actual number a secret, but by the same token I’m finding it’s a great way of focusing the mind.

Better than that, yesterday morning I found myself deciding what I wanted to weigh in at next weekend, and I even wrote it down…I’m hoping the thought of that mini-goal will help to add another layer of gatekeeping to support the cause this week. Every little helps, and it goes right back to the concept of the article I shared with you back in the early days on the aggregation of marginal gains…it might be just a little thing, but lots of little things gather momentum and make a big difference.

I feel happy, positive and incredibly upbeat as we go into this week. I’ve gotten over last week’s Diva moment, where life felt unfair because I was being forced against my will to pass up food opportunities which should have been mine for the taking. In hindsight, I made wise choices. I can look back and celebrate my self-control, instead of regretting my decision to give into the need for short-term gratification. I laid in bed last night thinking about the lunch I’ve carefully prepared to take to work today, and the big plump grapes which are washed and ready to eat, and I felt almost euphoric.

May I be so bold as to declare that I’ve reclaimed my place in the sweet spot..? I know I’m taking it one day at a time and today is only day eight… but already, the ground beneath my feet feels more solid 🙂


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Challenge By Challenge


So the first half of the week hasn’t been bad, in fact I went to bed on Tuesday night with a chunk of food budget left in the bank. I know! I stood in front of the fridge wondering what I could have with my remaining daily Smart Point and it struck me that I didn’t really want anything. I could’ve licked the corner of a Malteser, you know? Mind you, I’d just eaten a huge portion of melon and was nursing a significant food baby at the time, but even so it’s the first time in a while where I’ve underspent my budget.

Maybe it’s because I’d just been mooching on-line and totally blown my actual budget on another handbag, which I didn’t need and couldn’t really afford…maybe I just needed to demonstrate to myself that I AM in fact capable of acting with restraint..? Whatever the reason I’m claiming it as a victory. And the handbag is gorgeous (shoot me now) 🙂

I was in a full day off-site meeting yesterday where lunch was provided, and being familiar with the venue I know it’s never very healthy so I’d prepared a boxed salad to take with me, and I just asked the restaurant manager for a little bit of ham. I’m trying to get right back into the discipline of proper planning, you know? Last week I was in the same venue and I almost broke my neck at lunchtime getting to the sandwiches and chips but this week I headed my fat thinking off at the pass and it was no drama at all, the guy was happy to help.

My challenge is going to come this weekend…it’s our bi-annual girly get together. If you’ve been reading along for a while you’ll remember the last time, where all my friends turned up with exercise gear for the first time ever in support of my training regime. It was a real departure from our usual drink-your-own-bodyweight-in-prosecco and eat naughties ‘till your eyes pop out kind of weekend, and don’t get me wrong, the bottle bank saw a fair bit of action as we left, but their support made it easier for me to stay in the right mindset all weekend – I made it work for me.

This time, given my recent wobble I’m planning very carefully. I’m going to walk on Saturday…it’s a beautiful spot and if I get three or four miles in I’ll go some way to counteracting the prosecco and an odd treat here or there. I’m going to take masses of fruit, and try not to eat loads of chocolate. And Sunday, as we leave, is a brand new shiny week so any indiscretions can be wiped off the map, right?

Being in this for the long haul goes right back to finding some kind of balance…it has to work for me. If I’m sat there resenting the fact that all my friends can have things I can’t it’s going to piss me right off and I’m likely to face-plant into the naughties at warp speed without a second thought.

I know I planned a super-clean eating week this week, but actually these weekends with my friends are precious and no way do I intend to sit off to the side sipping water and nibbling a fucking carrot stick. Of course it’s about the company not the food and lets be honest, if I can go to Las Vegas for five days with this gorgeous lot and lose a pound, managing a weekend in a log cabin without the wheels coming off should be a walk in the park. Even when my head’s had a wobble and the Asshole who lives in there has had a higher than average strike rate over recent weeks.

I’m playing the long game. I always come home from these weekends with my soul lifted by gossip and giggles and the joy of spending time with friends who get me and whose company is effortless. I’m planning to step out of the weekend on the other side without regrets and if I’ve consumed my own bodyweight in crap I won’t be able to. So I’m not going to. Challenge by challenge eh? I can do this.

I’m posting early because I’m tied up tomorrow and then I’m scooting off to the middle of nowhere with my besties for two days of R&R. Have a great weekend everyone and see you on the other side 🙂

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Too Easily Persuaded


Hands up who’s ever made a prosecco-related decision which turned out not to be your smartest move? Yeah, me too. I had a lovely evening on Saturday, you know one of those unplanned evenings that springs up out of nowhere and turns into something unexpected..? There was a beer and prosecco festival in the next town that a few of my friends had been involved in arranging, and having been invited along my intention was to go and have a couple of scoops late afternoon and then head home for my usual Saturday evening in front of the TV with my four-legged fur baby.

It certainly wasn’t my intention to drink my own bodyweight in prosecco before leading the charge to a local Indian restaurant where I proceeded to work my way through their menu. That wasn’t on the cards at all when I left home. But…well, that’s what happened. The prosecco flowed until after dark, everybody left  except me and one of my friends and a bunch of her friends who I’d met for the first time that evening, and when someone said I fancy some food, my tipsy asshole voice was on it like a car bonnet. Indian! Let’s go for Indian food! 

Actually if it’d come into being on the back of a solid week I could probably have got away with it, but for some reason last week it was a tough dieting week so my fizz-fuelled decision to throw caution to the wind and nosh my way through poppadoms with a full pickle tray, onion bhajis and a chicken korma with pilau rice didn’t strictly correspond to the number of smart points I had available in my food budget. Like, not at all.

Saturday night is the very end of my dieting week remember, so it was down to the wire…I’d left home with 12 points available to me, which probably equated to three glasses of prosecco. I definitely had at least six of those after trying the local cider which nearly took the enamel off my teeth, and my ability to keep a count got a little compromised after that so there may have been more if I’m honest.

So, philosophically speaking I don’t regret the evening at all…it was fun, we laughed a lot and it was good to meet some new people. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sunday morning however, well that was a different story. I wasn’t hungover as such, to be honest by the time I got in on Saturday the food had pretty much soaked up the prosecco. But I felt sluggish. Like I’d eaten a big rich meal just before bed…oh, hang on a minute that’s because I did eat a big rich meal just before bed. Doh.

Safe to say then that an hour of circuit training followed by an hour of boxing didn’t appeal much when I opened my eyes. Or at all. But you know what, I went. I dragged my sorry ass around those circuits through gritted teeth, because it was the start of a brand shiny new week and I’m on it. God help those poor people who had to witness me sweating turmeric out of every pore…I thought I was going to die.

I don’t know why last week was a difficult week, food wise…I think perhaps front-loading my points didn’t help. Last Sunday I had a bit of a blow-out so I had to manage my food budget pretty carefully for the rest of the week, which is guaranteed to make me want to rebel… I know this, it’s not like it’s new news but I guess there are some lessons that need to be learned over and again before they’re baked in, right? The whole week felt like an uphill slog, and I struggled to keep focus so the Indian meal on Saturday was sort of king turd of turd mountain as far as dodgy food choices were concerned.

I’m determined this week will be different. According to the bitch in the bathroom I lost no weight last week, but I didn’t gain any either, so I’ve dodged a bullet and I’m pulling out all the stops. Lets see how much of this arse I can offload in the nineteen days before we set off for Cuba, eh?

Onwards 🙂

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Some Kind Of Balance


I woke up yesterday morning feeling very skinny, which is odd when you consider that I’m still one hundred and two pounds heavier than I intend to be this time next year. But then, don’t you think feeling skinny is a subjective thing anyway? I have a friend who often says I’m having a fat day today, as she stands there in all her skinniness looking for all the world like she needs to eat a meal. But in that skinny moment she feels fat, in the same way that I laid in bed yesterday morning with all my spare tyres feeling skinny.

The truth of the matter is that I’m nearer to skinny than I’ve been in recent years. I’m back at my pre-holiday weight, in fact I’m a pound under and you know what that means…the last couple of weeks have gone according to plan. Well, ish. I wanted to come back from holiday weighing the same as when I went, and if we discount the few days where my plumbing went into lockdown, I pretty much pulled it off.

I feel so proud of that. I’m proud of the fact that I managed to get straight back on track from the minute I came home – I’ve not managed to do that too many times in my life – yeah, try never – and I’ve spent the last few days trying to put my finger on exactly what’s been different this time.

I think it’s because although I spent a few days with my foot off the gas, I never actually disengaged my head from this journey. In the past, when I’ve pressed pause on a diet, it’s involved ripping up sensible altogether – if I’m not going to be very very good then sod it, I’m going to be very very bad…you get the picture. No point in being good at dinner when I’ve been wicked at lunch! No point in exercising because my diet’s gone to shit so what’s the point! All or nothing, which is the sort of crooked thinking which has derailed many weight-loss attempts over the years. My past is littered with them.

This time I managed to keep a watching brief on everything I ate, even though I ate a lot. Well, with the notable exception of the rocky road dessert. I still don’t have a scooby doo how many portions of that I actually ate. However, most other naughties were noted and enjoyed, without guilt but with acknowledgement that I’d have to work extra hard to deal with the consequences, whether that was on holiday or after I came home. My head accepted that…and it stayed in the game.

I squeezed in extra opportunities to exercise, like getting back off the ship to walk the steps in Alesund, and climbing up that waterfall on the morning of the day where I’d already booked a challenging hike in the afternoon. I didn’t have to do those things, but all the time I was focused on keeping some kind of balance. More food? Right then…more exercise too.

I didn’t need to get my head back in the game when I came home because the truth is, it never stepped out. And you know what, I’m feeling more sure footed than ever now I’ve proved to myself that thinking about things in a different way made me act in a different way. I pulled it off…how cool is that.

I’ve got this. One hundred and two pounds to go.

This time next year… 🙂


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Nothing Happened Here

happy dance

So I’ve got to be honest, waking up with the rocky road spoon in my bed made me laugh out loud, but it also served as a reminder of the way things used to be with me. And along with the spoon came not a small amount of regret for allowing myself to get carried away in the moment, well several moments if we’re being honest. I did some quick mental calculations as to exactly how badly I’d fubar’d and it was a wake-up call…enough now.

The last two days I was fairly sensible. I had to go see the ship’s doctor on Thursday after a miserable day walking around Bergen with earache – well, miserable until 1) I walked into a clothes shop in the town and came out with four off-the-peg garments which fit me 🙂 and 2) I met the ship’s doctor who looked like he’d just stepped off a movie set. When I shook his hand and said hello I was practically leering. I reminded myself of Sid James clocking Barbara Windsor’s chesticles, which is a bit embarrassing given that he probably wasn’t much older than my boy.

Anyway, being loaded up with antibiotics along with the earache made me feel a bit crappy so on our last day at sea I was very lethargic and the exercise thing just didn’t happen…I think the most energetic thing I did was turn the pages of my book.

Reflecting on the awesome week and chatting it all through with my friend as we waited to disembark, I estimated that the likely outcome of the week I’d had would see the bitch in the bathroom serve me up a two pound gain the following day. Two pounds sounded fair, you know? Deserved…I’d worked hard but I’d played hard too, and I was ready to embrace two pounds as being totally worth that exquisite Chateaubriand, and the incomparable jaffa cake desert, and the customary poke about the cheese board which by the end of the week had become a regular thing…the ice creams and the waffle and all my other little indiscretions…two pounds sounded about right.

Eight pounds on the other hand, did not. I must have spent at least half an hour on Sunday morning nudging that fucking scale around every tile on the bathroom floor trying to source at least one favourable reading, but no…eight pounds, I mean come on. No way did I consume nearly thirty thousand extra calories over the course of the week and anything I did eat was offset against a ton of active stuff…I was beyond pissed off.

It was still showing that unwelcome number by Tuesday, despite me hitting Sunday head on with as strong a resolve as ever, getting straight back onto my regular food plan and walking Charlie for at least five miles every day since I’ve been back. The first session back in the Kingdom of Pain was horrendous. It was like going right back to my first ever session, I felt so sluggish and everything was hard. And then suddenly, (forgive me being indelicate) it occurred to me that it might have been four or five days since I’d been…you know, for a visit.

Now, I don’t know about you and your ablutionary habits, but me, I’m a bit vague. I don’t really give it much thought…not like some folk I’ve known, who want to call a press conference if nothing’s happened daily by 10am. Me, well pardon the pun, shit just happens. Except since probably Thursday last week in my case it hadn’t. Oh my God I can’t even believe I’m talking about this in here…there’s honest, and then there’s too much information, right?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’d felt the full force of God of Pain’s disapproval after his scale revealed the same number as mine, but he dispensed some words of wisdom relating to prunes when I filled him in on what was emerging in my mind as the front runner culprit for the outrageous weight gain and feeling of being bloated. And having followed his advice, lets just say over the last couple of days mother nature did her thing.

I hopped on God of Pain’s scales again last night before my fat furnace session and I’m very happy to report that I’m now just one pound heavier than I was before my holiday, and that’ll be gone by Sunday. Nothing happened here. I went, I had a ball, and I earned most of my treats as I went along. I enjoyed every single one of them, and now I’m on it like a car bonnet.

As soon as I got home I went right back to my own new normal, and contrary to any worries I might have had, I’ve done it without a fight. I swear, I could do my happy dance for twenty four hours straight up. And I can honestly say that I am just as determined as I was last year when I got back from holiday and started my diet…it’s all good.

So…next stop Cuba. Five weeks today we fly out for what will without doubt be the most physically challenging five days of my life, so it’s all systems go here for the final push. I’d like to take off at least another ten pounds before we leave so there’s hard work to be done…let’s get to it 🙂

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